Assisted Migration: Forestry in the Future Under a Changing Climate


Webinar information

Assisted migration, which is the movement of genotypes, populations, species, or forests, has been extensively researched as an approach to minimize the expected negative impacts of climate change on the health, productivity, and ecosystem services of future forests. The local seed source may no longer be adapted or optimal to meet land management objectives, and this issue may be one of the most important challenges foresters will need to deal with in the coming years. Fortunately, many people study the issue and can provide tools to land managers to make the best choice under the available data. The two talks here are aimed at providing the why, the what, and the how of assisted migration to a general audience including current knowledge, implementation, and future plans for public lands. Before the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to discuss the available tools that can facilitate decision-making to ensure the resilience of their forests.

The webinar will be composed of two presentations, followed by a Q&A/discussion session. The speakers are Dr. Brian Palik (Forest Ecologist, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station) and Dr. Greg O’Neill (Forest Geneticist, British Columbia Forest Service, Canada)

This webinar is now available for archived viewing here through the SAF ForestEd platform.

Working groups are another way to receive, contribute, and add value to your SAF membership. LEARN MORE about SAF Working Groups or join the Forest Health & Genetics Working Group. JOIN SAF to engage in a working group and tap the growing membership benefits.

Is this webinar for you?

This 1-hr webinar is intended for anyone interested in climate change, assisted migration, and/or forestry, including foresters, ecologists, and natural resource professionals in government or private practice


1. Click REGISTER to the right of the webinar title. Be sure to log in with your SAF account username and password.

2. After checking out, the webinar will be available on your MY DASHBOARD page here on ForestEd.

For group registrations or registering someone other than yourself please contact or 202-938-3910.


Registration is FREE ($0) for all attendees. Thank you to Western Forestry and Conservation Association and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries and Genetic Resources for sponsoring this webinar. Members and non-members still need to register to gain access to the webinar. 

Join SAF today to access free Working Group webinars and other growing member benefits.

Webinar access 

The archived webinar is accessible within the Contents tab (to the right of the Overview information) and will be archived for future viewing through March 23, 2024 at 11:55 ET unless notified otherwise.

Webinar duration

This webinar is 1 hour.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this webinar, you will be able to:

1. Define assisted migration of trees. 

2. Explain the relevance of assisted migration as a management approach in response to climate change. 

3. Analyze how assisted migration can be implemented in different forest environments.

4. Summarize where we are standing in terms of the implementation of assisted migration. 

5. Identify assisted migration considerations relevant to commercial plantations, urban forestry, and restoration of native species in natural forests. 


Successful completion of the webinar is measured by viewing the entire webinar and completing the evaluation.


Participant feedback is appreciated to help the working group and presenters continually improve webinars for future programming.


Upon successful completion of this webinar, you will earn 1.0 CFEs in Category 1. CFEs will automatically be added to your CFE record located on You will receive CFEs for viewing the archived webinar and completing the evaluation.

If you are seeking Ecological Society of America (ESA) CEUs, please make sure to fill out the optional survey in Course Content following the completion of the webinar. SAF will report completion intermittently to ESA on.


Upon successful completion of this webinar and the evaluation, participants may download and print a certificate verifying completion of the webinar and earning CFEs. CFEs will be uploaded to participant CFE records by the end of the day (11:59 pm ET).

Return to Webinar (live or archived)

Once you are registered for the webinar, access this webinar within your MY DASHBOARD. Prior to the start time, the webinar will be listed under "Upcoming Live Events." Following the end of the webinar, the webinar will be accessible within the general listing of registered items of YOUR DASHBOARD.

Webinar Resources

Additional resources are available within the Resources tab and within the Contents tab.

Need Help?

For ForestEd questions, visit FAQs, email, or check out the registration quick tips in the Handouts tab. For questions about this working group, contact the Forest Health & Genetics Working Group Chair, Caterina Villari at For technical assistance and questions about this webinar, email


This is a non-refundable item. Please view FAQs for additional information.

Brian Palik

Science Leader for Applied Forest Ecology

USDA FS, Northern Research Station

Brian Palik is science leader for applied forest ecology with the USDA Forest Service-Northern Research Station, in Grand Rapids MN. He has B.S. in biology from Alma College, an M.S. in plant ecology from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. in forest ecology from Michigan State University. He works broadly on questions related to the ecological sustainability of managed forests through use of operational-scale and long-term silviculture research.

Greg O'Neill

Climate Change Adaptation Scientist

British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Forest Improvement and Research Management Branch

Greg O'Neill studies the nature and distribution of adaptive variation of North American tree species and applies this understanding to develop resilient reforestation practices in a changing climate. Greg is a professional forester with degrees in biology, forest ecology and forest genetics. Much of his time is devoted to two large field trials: the Assisted Migration Adaptation Trial (AMAT) and the Interior spruce genecology trial and to the development and implementation of BC's Climate Based Seed Transfer system. He has worked for the last 20 years in the Forest Genetics section of the British Columbia Ministry of Forests.

Caterina Villari (Moderator)

Associate Professor

Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia

Richard Sniezko (Moderator)

Forest Geneticist

USDA FS, Pacific Northwest Region's Dorena Genetic Research Center

Geoff Williams (Moderator)

International Sentinel Network Coordinator

USDA FS, International Programs


Assisted Migration Webinar: Forestry in the Future Under a Changing Climate
03/23/2023 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/24/2023  |  59 minutes
03/23/2023 at 1:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 03/24/2023  |  59 minutes
9 Questions
9 Questions Please complete the evaluation to help inform the continuous improvement of future programming provided by SAF's Forest Health & Genetics Working Group.
CFEs & Certificate
Live and Archive Viewing: 1.00 CAT1 credit and certificate available
Live and Archive Viewing: 1.00 CAT1 credit and certificate available Download, save and print for your records. Your CFEs will be posted to your SAF CFE record today.
ESA CEU survey: Assisted Migration Webinar
1 Question
1 Question Complete this questionnaire to indicate if you are seeking CEUs from the Ecological Society of America (ESA).